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Cooking Vacation in Italy

Join Italia Sweet Italia on this Italian cookery tour in Abruzzo, central Italy. You will be part of a small group of people and will be able to develop your cooking skills, expand your wine knowledge, and discover the region’s off-the-beaten-track secrets. The highlight of this tour is the chance to learn how to make authentic Italian salami, to replicate them at home, and surprise your friends and relatives and yourself!

Highlights

  • Italian salami making class
  • Award-winning winery tour and wine tasting
  • Prepare homemade pasta and pizza with local ladies
  • Experience olive oil tasting, cheese making, and cheese tasting
  • Breakfasts and meals in selected restaurants, farmhouses, or wineries
  • Trabocco demonstration, visiting artisans, farm, and castle
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers

Styles


5 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Italian
Group size: 6-16 participants
Airport transfer included: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Gym
  • Air-conditioned public areas
  • Bar
  • Concierge desk
  • Multilingual staff
  • Restaurant
  • Baby sitting
  • Currency exchange
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Laundry
  • Newspapers
  • Tour assistance

Recently renovated, Hotel dei 7 is the perfect setting for your stay in Vasto. In their practical and elegant ambiance, you can relax with all the modern comforts and in absolute tranquility nearby the Villa Comunale (municipal park) and Belvedere San Michele, one of the most fascinating viewpoints of the town. Most of the rooms have also a small kitchen and an amazing view of the Adriatic Sea and Vasto bay. It is five minutes' walking from Piazza Rossetti, Vasto main square.

Program

Day 1: Rome airport pickup and welcome to Abruzzo dinner (dinner)

PM

You will be picked up at the Rome Fiumicino airport at 2:30 p.m. and transferred to the ancient Roman town of Vasto on the Adriatic Coast after crossing beautiful Abruzzo mountains looking at amazing landscapes, hilltop villages, and castles.

Check in at the charming and family-run Hotel dei 7 (or a similar accommodation) in the historical downtown. Get to know your guide and learn more about this seven-day cultural and culinary vacation. Then, walk to a traditional restaurant to enjoy a welcome group dinner in the heart of Vasto.

Day 2: Visit of a typical “agriturismo” to learn everything about Abruzzo farming, traditional salami and sausages making class, farm-to-table lunch, and explore Punta Aderci Nature Reserve (breakfast, cooking lesson, lunch)

AM

After breakfast, you will make your way to a farmhouse where Pina and Berardino will reveal the secrets of farming, letting you immerse in an authentic slow food experience. You could relax in the beautiful Abruzzo countryside or take part into some or all of these experiences.

Today, you learn the secrets of traditional salami making with pork meat. You will also learn how to make a special bread called “pizza scima - stupid pizza”, a pizza without yeast.

After picking some organic wine from their winery, you will have an aperitif including a taste of their production: cheeses, salami, and extra virgin olive oil. Next, you will have the unique opportunity to cook just made sausages and other traditional food for your traditional farm-to-table lunch.

Almost everything you will eat is produced in the farm (wheat to produce the organic flour to make different kinds of breads, cookies and fresh pasta together with eggs from their hens, organic extra virgin olive oil, wines, liquors, juices, jams, cheeses, many varieties of salami, meats, and vegetables)

PM

In the afternoon, you will explore the Abruzzo coastline. You will have a short and easy walk inside Punta Aderci Nature Reserve, one of the 10 most beautiful Italian beaches according to the British daily The Telegraph, from where you can also admire snow-capped mountains.

In the evening, you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Vasto. After the big lunch at the farm, based on Italia Sweet Italia’s many years of experience, they know that nobody is looking for a rich dinner, so travelers usually enjoy spending time like a local trying a simple aperitif, a gelato, or a pizza. Obviously, Fabrizio will suggest you his favorite places.

Day 3: Discover the fascinating Trabocchi coast, fish-based lunch on a trabocco fishing hut, visit C6th Abbey (breakfast, cooking lesson, lunch, dinner)

AM

After breakfast, you will explore the famous Trabocchi coast. You will start with a short and easy walk inside Punta Aderci Nature Reserve, one of the 10 most beautiful Italian beaches according to the British daily The Telegraph, from where you can also admire snow-capped mountains.

Next, you will visit a trabocco (the symbol of the area), mostly built with acacia wood and railway iron sleepers.

Weather permitting, Rinaldo your host will show you how to fish from it and the secrets and history behind Abruzzo’s unique fishing platforms that have been featured in the BBC TV show: Escape to the Continent. His wife Maria will prepare fish from the Adriatic Sea for your exclusive lunch on the ocean.

PM

In the afternoon, feel free to relax or take some great photos of the surrounding beautiful marinescape. On the way home, you will visit the enchanting San Giovanni in Venere Abbey that sits on a hill dominating the coastline, surrounded by orange, olive, oak, and pine trees. Enjoy a group dinner in a traditional restaurant in the heart of Vasto.

Day 4: Tomato passata sauce making, family lunch, and free afternoon (breakfast, tasting, lunch)

AM

After a leisurely breakfast, you will travel to Lentella, where you will have an exciting and hopefully successful black truffle hunt. Accompanied by an “aperitivo”, you will enjoy a truffle cookery demonstration using what you collected and eat your rewards for lunch, that could include risotto and frittata (Italian omelette) with truffle.

PM

Italia Sweet Italia knows that not every minute of your time must be packed with organized events, this way you will be able to explore on your own and actually live like an Italian.

So today, you will have a free afternoon for your own activities, which could be: going to one of the many beaches, visiting Vasto’s museums and art galleries, taking part into some extra activities / excursions, or just doing some Easter shopping visiting artisans or having a walk in the “piazza” to enjoy the relaxing Vasto atmosphere.

In the evening, you may experience dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants of Vasto.

Day 5: Exploring Roccascalegna medieval castle, the Borgo of Fara San Martino (the town of pasta), light walking inside the gorges of San Martino (breakfast, tasting, lunch)

AM

After breakfast, immersed in the nature and surrounded by amazing sceneries, you will drive in the inland to explore the enchanting Abruzzo’s castle in the sky in the charming village of Roccascalegna, ranked by Condé Naste Traveler as one of the 9 Most Beautiful Hilltop Towns in Italy.

Next, you will drive to Fara San Martino (the town of pasta), where you will have a lunch tasting different kinds of special pasta in a traditional restaurant.

PM

You will have a light walking to the impressive gorges of San Martino in the heart of the Majella National Park where you can admire also a Benedictine hermitage nestled in the mountains. After the big lunch, in the evening, you may enjoy a dinner or aperitif on your own in one of the many restaurants and wine bars of Vasto.

Day 6: Olive oil and wine tasting, pizza and tiramisù family party and farewell dinner (breakfast, tasting, lunch, cooking lesson, dinner)

AM

After breakfast, you will visit an olive grove that has been farmed by Giovanni’s family for three generations to produce DOP olive oils. He will unfurl the secrets of what Homer described as “liquid gold” and we will finish with an olive oil tasting.

Next, you will visit an award-winning winery that sits between a marine park and the mountains. You will make a wine tasting and lunch with pairings from local cheeses and salami and a tour of the vineyard and cellars organized by the winemakers Emanuele and Nicola.

PM

After lunch and some free time to relax and pack or do a last minute shopping, you will have a farewell party with Fabrizio’s family. You will enjoy the Abruzzo wines and food in a very relaxed atmosphere or help Adele and Mamma Anna Maria to make tiramisù and many kinds of pizza including the world-famous Margherita or local ones with typical toppings such as the renowned “ventricina” salami.

In the evening, you will have the last dinner together as an Italian family immersed in the Abruzzo’s countryside.

Day 7: Goodbye and transfer to Rome airport (breakfast)

After breakfast, you will leave (usually at 9:00 a.m.) for Rome Fiumicino airport or your next destination (Rome Fiumicino is about 3.5 hours’ driving from Vasto) so make sure to get an afternoon flight.

Note about your itinerary

Your itinerary is a guide to your activities during the week. However, sometimes the final itinerary is modified to take advantage of the season and the weather. The goal is to ensure that everyone has a fabulous time, and that sometimes means tweaking the schedule even after your arrival. Your guide will provide suggestions during the week, and the group will decide whether to make any change. Be assured that only enhanced experiences are ever considered.

Included excursions

  • Explore Loggia Amblingh, the Cathedral and Piazza Rossetti
  • Explore the enchanting Abruzzo’s castle in the sky in Roccascalegna
  • Stop at Trabocco Punta Tufano to have a funny fishing experience
  • Visit a sheep and cows farm to learn how to milk a sheep or a cow
  • Visit Fontefico, an award-winning winery that sits between a marine park and the mountains
  • Visit the La Selvotta Olive Grove for olive oil tasting
  • Visit Vasto’s colorful market to get seasonal products

Location

This wine tasting and cooking holiday will take place in Vasto, a city in Abruzzo region, Italy.

Vasto

In Vasto, a Roman coastal town in Abruzzo, just three hours from Rome, which flourished again in the 15th and 16th century, you will enjoy exploring the Centro Storico, its cathedrals and churches, the 15th Century Palazzo d’Avalos, the Rossetti Theater, the cafes, restaurants, the food, wine and gelato, vineyards, cheese factories, and olive oil mills.

You will also find many natural sites such as a selection of beaches, from sandy shores to pebbly coves, from the populous marina to the natural reserve, from dunes to trabocchi, the unique fishing huts you will marvel at, all within a short distance. Vasto is a perfect base for cooking, painting, Italian language and pottery holidays in Abruzzo.

Abruzzo

Green and just a short drive from Rome

Abruzzo is just a short drive from Rome and considered the greenest region in Europe with three national parks and many protected areas and species such as bears, wolves, lynx and golden eagles.

Mountains and a coastline

Abruzzo spreads from the Apennine mountains to the Adriatic sea so that you can admire the highest mountains of the Apennines, the Corno Grande directly from its coast. It is this huge variety of landscapes and seascapes that make it an ideal place to have a painting holiday.

A different approach

Trabocchi: Charming old fishing huts created in the eighteenth century that protrude "into the sea" and provide a safer way to fish in the Adriatic. They make a perfect traditional base for fishing experiences, cooking, painting, and pottery classes and are unique to Abruzzo.

A gastronomic heritage

Abruzzo and her four provinces: Teramo, L’Aquila, Pescara, and Chieti have a very diverse gastronomic heritage that includes wine, pasta alla chitarra (homemade pasta worked with a particular instrument called guitar), extra-virgin olive oil, cheeses, salami, truffle, saffron, and fish soups. Explore it through this cooking holiday.

Natural hospitality

You can see an authenticity and natural hospitality of the people, the value and warmth of human relationships, tranquility, and slow pace of life.

Off-the-beaten-track

Abruzzo remains unknown and off the beaten to many non-Italians.

Reawaken and remember

Abruzzo and her people the Abruzzese will reawaken your senses and provide an unforgettable Italian holiday you will never forget!

Distances

  • Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) - 3.5 hours

Food

The price of this culinary holiday includes daily buffet breakfasts and eight meals (food, water, and house wine) in selected restaurants, farmhouses, private homes, and wineries based on traditional regional dishes.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Biking
  • Going to one of the many beaches
  • Taking part in some extra activities and excursions
  • Visiting a natural reserve

What's included

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast buffet
  • 8 meals (food, water, house wine) in selected restaurants, a farmhouse, a private home, a winery, and a trabocco hut based on traditional regional dishes
  • 2 hands-on authentic Abruzzo cooking classes and associated food costs
  • Authentic salami making class
  • Daily trips, experiences, and excursions
  • Pickup and drop-off at Rome Fiumicino airport or city center on request
  • Personalized cooking booklet and apron
  • All transports for daily trips and excursions
  • All entry fees for excursions, tours and wine, olive oil, and cheese tastings
  • English-speaking tour manager throughout the vacation
  • All taxes

What's not included

  • Airfares
  • Money spent for personal interests
  • Snacks and drinks between meals, or any meals not listed on the itinerary
  • Personal expenses like phone calls, visa costs, laundry, or tips
  • Travel insurance (not obligatory, but recommended)
  • Drinks not listed in the itinerary (an extra bottle of wine, for example)
  • The cost of additional excursions or activities

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flights to arrive at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO). Transfer from and to this airport is included. Italia Sweet Italia will pick you up at the airport.

Airport: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport Airport transfer included: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
7 days / 6 nights
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Tour information

This vacation requires a minimum of two participants. Please send your inquiry for further information.

 

Solo travelers

This tour can accommodate solo travelers on certain dates. Please inquire for availability.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 6 participants

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